Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pining for the Old Days?

After reading a recent article in an UK Tabloid, I have to wonder if Bulgaria's Chief Archaeologist is pining for the old days of Communism with its state ownership of everything old.   Instead, Bulgaria would be better served if it adopts a program akin to the United Kingdom's Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme, perhaps with a Bulgarian twist that requires any recorded artifacts that are returned to the finder to be sold at public auction in Bulgaria itself.  Of course, consistent with EU law such recorded artifacts should then be made available for export to collectors both within and outside the EU.  That could be a win-win for Bulgarian archaeologists and collectors and a boon to Bulgaria's struggling economy.


Paul Barford said...

Why "old days" of "state ownership of everything old" when I sent you the link to the CURRENT antiquiities law? Did you trouble yourself to read it before dismissing it so roundly twice in so many days?

But then do you not completely contradict yourself in the next sentence anyway? "Instead, [of what?] Bulgaria would be better served... [...]?". All very odd.

Cultural Property Observer said...

I looked at it. I don't believe it clearly vests title in all ancient coins in the State. Moreover, as I mentioned to you previously information developed at the CPAC hearing confirmed by eye witnesses suggests there is an open trade within Bulgaria of Ancient Coins.

While Bulgaria evidently precludes their export, I'm not sure such a rule is consistent with EU law or enforceable given the EU's open internal borders.

While Bulgarian law seems a bit confused, it does appear the archaeologist in question pines in some ways for the old days of Communism. Sad really.